Evidence of hurls and pool cues swung in Offaly assault case

Court Reporter


Court Reporter



Man cleared of assaulting woman with hurl in Offaly

Man cleared of assaulting woman with hurl in Offaly

A man has been cleared of assaulting a woman following a hearing at Tullamore District Court.

James Hannon, aged 38 and from 13 Frankford, Kilcormac, denied assaulting Elizabeth Mongan, causing her harm, on May 16 last year in Frankford.

Ms Mongan said in evidence that her children were out playing on the green on that date and Mr Hannon was shouting at them and trying to take a hurley from one of them.

Ms Mongan said she grabbed the hurley from her son and told the accused he should be ashamed of himself.

She alleged Mr Hannon told her he would buy a bar of soap so her children could wash themselves and called them “dirty rotten tinkers.”

Ms Mongan said other members of the Hannon family were also present at the top of the estate and her children had to go back into their house.

Continuing, she said she rang her husband who told her to get the car and go to her father's place with the children.
She said Mr Hannon came running with a rock and he hit the door of the car with it.

When Ms Mongan was out of the car and was walking along an alleyway he boxed the head off her and hit her on the shin, resulting in her going to hospital, the court heard.

A medical report handed into the court said she had tenderness to her cheeks and abrasions to her right lower leg.

When Aisling Maloney, defending solicitor, put it to Ms Mongan that a garda said there was no damage to her car, the woman said no garda had checked her car.

When Ms Maloney said her client would say it was Ms Mongan who assaulted him, she replied that he had beaten the head off her.

Responding to the medical report which indicated there was an injury to the back of her leg, she said the man had kicked her on the shin and the mark was still there if the solicitor wanted to see it.

Gda Flanagan, Birr Garda Station, said he spoke to Mr Hannon first when he called to Frankford on May 16 and the man said he'd been assaulted by Ms Mongan. He refused to make a statement.

The garda went to Ms Mongan's house and saw her car and did not see a mark on it. He said Ms Mongan was red around the neck and though she refused to make a statement, she alleged she'd been assaulted.

Gda Hogan, Cloghan Garda Station, gave evidence that Ms Mongan made a voluntary statement on May 20 and on May 22 Mr Hannon also made a voluntary statement. The DPP directed that Mr Hannon be prosecuted, but not Ms Mongan.

In his statement, Mr Hannon said he and his children were called names by members of the Mongan family and someone swung a pool cue at him.

Mr Hannon also said in his statement that Elizabeth Mongan had accused him of breaking her windows and he was threatened with a hurley.

He also alleged that Ms Mongan had chased his son with a hurley into a field and she had punched him (James Hannon).
He said her nails were dug into his neck and others on the scene were swinging hurls. He said he pushed Ms Mongan away but did not hit her.

A 16-year-old female witness told the court she was with James Hannon on May 16 and they were called names and a man swung a pool cue out of the window of a van.

The witness alleged the Mongans had hurls and said they'd break one off her little brother's head. She also said the incident with the rock had not happened and nobody had a rock.

Another female witness said she saw a hurl being swung at James Hannon and added that no rock was thrown at Elizabeth Mongan's car.

There were no further witnesses and making a submission to Judge Catherine Staines, Ms Maloney said while Ms Mongan said she received a kick to the shin, the abrasion was on the rear of her leg.

Gardai had said they could not see an injury to her face nor damage to her car.

Judge Staines said the incident was “absolutely appalling carry-on by all the parties” and children just wanted to play.

She understood Ms Mongan was upset but there were inconsistencies in the evidence. There was no evidence in relation to the rock and the abrasion was to the back of the woman's leg.

She also noted that James Hannon said he had been punched first.

Judge Staines said she was dismissing the case because she could not be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt but she sincerely hoped all the parties would put the matter behind them and put their children first.

Read more stories from Tullamore District Court in this week's Tullamore Tribune.